Google, Microsoft reach deal to end regulatory fights

Google, Microsoft reach deal to end regulatory fights
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Microsoft and Google will withdraw their regulatory complaints against each other under an agreement announced on Friday.

“Our companies compete vigorously, but we want to do so on the merits of our products, not in legal proceedings,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. “As a result, following our patent agreement, we've now agreed to withdraw regulatory complaints against one another."

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The companies will also reportedly look to settle disputes internally before turning to regulators in the future.

Last year, the companies agreed to settle their outstanding patent lawsuits. The deal announced Friday will also apply around the world.

The two companies have long been rivals, with Microsoft using regulatory measures to put a damper on Google’s runaway success.

In 2013, Microsoft was miffed when Google dodged a possible enforcement action from the Federal Trade Commission.

“In other words, there appears to be no reason, despite the FTC’s optimistic statements this morning, to believe that Google recognizes its responsibilities as an industry leader,” the company said in a blog post at the time. “That is certainly consistent with the lack of change we continue to witness as we and so many others experience ongoing harm to competition in the marketplace.”

Since then, the Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft has targeted Google elsewhere, including Europe. The company has invested in lobbying in Brussels and has links to groups and companies that have helped to put Google in the crosshairs of the continent’s competition regulators.

That difficulty manifested itself again this week, when the European Union’s competition commissioner formally charged Google with signing contracts with smartphone manufacturers that violated antitrust laws. The company is also facing an investigation centered on allegations that it gives its own comparison shopping tool preference in its search results.